When the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration saw a growing problem of substance abuse among commercial truckers, it created a Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse. The clearinghouse is a national database that logs truck drivers with drug or alcohol infractions. It created the database to help keep truck drivers who abuse drugs and alcohol from driving California and the nation’s roads. Data from the first 18 months since the clearinghouse took effect is now available and shows that drug abuse is rising among this demographic.
Per ESR, truckers were most likely to abuse marijuana, and then cocaine and methamphetamine, in that order. However, drug abuse among commercial truck drivers increased across all three categories.
Trucker drug use by the numbers
The number of positive drug tests taken by professional truck drivers rose 13% between January and August of 2021 compared with the same stretch of time last year. As of the end of August 2021, there were 21,438 marijuana-related trucker drug violations logged in the clearinghouse compared with 18,252 such violations during the same span in 2020.
Trucker return-to-duty process
Truck drivers with violations listed n the clearinghouse may not return to active duty before taking part in a set return-to-duty process. As of the end of August 2021, there were more than 87,400 truckers nationwide who were not allowed to drive due to drug violations. About 17,000 of them followed return-to-duty protocols and passed the required tests needed to get back on the roads.
As of late August, more than 70,000 American truck drivers remained in prohibited driving status as a result of drug infractions.